As the 2021 school year winds down, some of The Champion’s staff reflected on a year of mostly virtual reporting. Here’s what they had to say:
Saskia McDonogh Mooney, Reporter
When I look back on this school year and my experience taking journalism, I feel that I have learned a great deal about community responsibility. I have always played team sports where you are taught to always be there for each other, that everyone has a job they need to execute in order for everyone to succeed. However, this class and writing for the newspaper has taught me to incorporate that mindset into my life away from the classroom. Partaking in online learning forces you to really commit to, and carve out time, to accomplish your tasks for this class. I feel that I have become more responsible in that regard and am excited to continue to grow moving forward.
Maxwell Dopp, Reporter
Taking journalism this year had a lot of impacts that also relate to outside of the class. One of those being how crucial it is to be on deadline time. Many times I had felt behind on when the deadline was due, and once that had happened, it was a scramble for me to get the story completed, which should not have happened in the first place. Another impact this class had on my skills is with responsibility and commitment. If I made a promise that I would do a story and then not pull through with the commitment I had made to myself and the whole newspaper team as a whole, that is me being irresponsible and not buying in to what the whole team had committed to. One person who really helped me develop these skills was Alex. He was always messaging me and pushing me to get my stories done, and for those stories to be done to the best of my abilities, so I appreciate Alex a lot for that.
Finley Williams, Editor-In-Chief
One of my favorite moments in journalism this year was when Aidan Sadovi and I reported on a CTU protest at Lane. It was the end of January with snow still clinging to the branches above us. We walked up and down the picket line taking photos and conducting interviews, all while the air was tight with winter chill and the chatter of teachers who were virtually instructing their classes. It felt, overall, like something was happening, like collective action — and its need to be reported and documented — transcended the monotony of virtual learning. It reminded me of what excites me about writing for The Champion and going into journalism in general.
Selena Kuznikov, A&E Editor
After being a part of the Journalism program at Lane for two years, I can definitively say that there is no other class that can bring a group of students together like Journalism can. I remember last year on the first day of school, I was so nervous that I wouldn’t really know anyone in my class. I walked into the classroom feeling really shy and awkward, and didn’t know who to turn and talk to. But, Mr. Strom had us stand up and do a few ice breakers, and I immediately felt welcomed by everyone in that classroom, specifically the editors that led my group in conversation. I think that community aspect and being so open with each other as editors and reporters is what makes Journalism the class it is. Emily, my co-A&E editor, was also someone I got really close to my junior year during Journalism. I remember working on a few stories with her and just immediately clicking and working super well together. We both were so nervous to go do an interview together with a teacher during one class period, and we kind of just stopped in the hallway on our way there to take a breather and remind ourselves that we would be fine. The Champion has brought so much to my life, and I can’t even begin to express how grateful I have been to be a part of such an amazing team and publication. The support you feel from being around other students who are so passionate about what they do is incomparable. The team that we’ve had this year has pushed through the trials of the pandemic and put out some of the best work we’ve ever had in my opinion, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s team has in store.
Crina Vlasceanu, Reporter
I think this class can best be described as resilient. There have been many downs this year, but through it all, we have all managed to bounce back. It’s been extremely eye-opening to see the different article topics each member of the class has gravitated towards and to be able to play any part in the creation of these works. Mr Strom has been incredibly supportive of everyone’s creative choices and it has been a huge inspiration to continue even through cancelled interviews, delayed responses, prolonged article research and picking up forgotten articles. As a Journalism 1 student, I can confidently say I have gotten over my fear of communicating with people virtually through the constant support received in this class, and through the many, many interviews conducted this year. I have learned so much and I am looking forward to seeing what The Champion will continue to bring.
Ella Rappel, Sports Editor
Journalism is such a fun and rewarding class! Getting the opportunity to try such a unique style of writing and to contribute to the Lane community is such a fulfilling experience. I would also just add that I’ve met a lot of good friends and talented journalists in this class that I really enjoy interacting with and learning from. This class has a great environment and I’ve created so many meaningful connections with my peers. It is one of my favorite classes that I’ve taken at Lane.